Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anglo - Czech Angling Interactions


The long and distinguished history of fly fishing is full of surprises. I was fortunate to experience one of these by myself. A friend of mine, who was about to relocate from Prague, sold me a part of his large angling library. This included some pre war issues of UK fishing magazine Fishing Gazette. In one of them I was surprised to find an article by Czech fishing author MVDr. Václav Dyk, reporting on the successes of the first Englishmen to fish the Vltava river.

The article was published on June 17th 1939, and it referred to Mr. Dyk's findings in the records of the domain of Schwarzenbergs in Stožec, dated 1911. The first Englishmen were Messrs. Johnson & Morgan, who visited in 1911 and again in 1912, spending two weeks fishing on each occasion. Their report, as reproduced by Mr. Dyk, reads as follows:


It was interesting to note the things that have changed - and there were a lot of them: the state that Messrs. Johnson & Morgan visited was the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, the state from which Mr. Dyk reported was Czechoslovakia and the country I live in now is the Czech Republic. The village formerly called Tusset has diminished after its German inhabitants were removed after WW II and goes by Czech name Stožec. A hundred years have passed.

But one thing has remained constant ever since the visit of the two adventurous Englishmen: the fishing in Upper Vltava is excellent. It remains one of the premier Graling rivers in my country and I will think of the two early visitors fondly the next time I visit there.